Sponsor of ITV’s rugby world cup coverage last year, Travelex brands itself “the world’s foreign-exchange company”. It handles foreign exchange for 16,000 corporate customers all over the world and provides foreign-currency services to several British high-street banks, including Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland. It also operates 650 bureaux de change in airports and cities worldwide. In March 2001, it completed the £440m acquisition of Thomas Cook’s financial-services division, which is the main reason that Travelex’s profits increased 66% a year from £8.6m in 1999 to £39.7m in 2002. In 2003, the company’s expansion continued when it acquired the Canadian customer base of Bank of America’s corporate foreign-exchange division, as well as MyTravel Financial Services for £20.8m.
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